Oklahoma Fraternity Learned Racist Chant on Cruise Sponsored by National Group

Members of the University of Oklahoma fraternity caught on video this month singing a racist chant learned it four years ago on a cruise organized by their national organization, the college’s president, David L. Boren, said on Friday. The chant was then “institutionalized” within the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter and taught to new members as part of the pledging process, Mr. Boren said.

That was the key finding of the university’s investigation into the origins of the chant, the results of which …


Provost of U. of Texas Flagship Will Be Promoted to President

[Updated (3/27/2015, 12:42 p.m.) with the tally of the Board of Regents' vote.]

Gregory L. Fenves, provost of the University of Texas at Austin, will be the institution’s next president. The university system’s Board of Regents voted on Friday to name Mr. Fenves the sole finalist for the presidency, the system announced in a written statement.

Mr. Fenves has been provost and executive vice president since 2013, and previously served five years as dean of the flagship’s Cockrell School of Enginee…


Ohio U. Faculty Objects to $1.2-Million Purchase of House for President

Faculty members at Ohio University have objected to the $1.2-million purchase of a new residence for the institution’s president, The Athens Messenger reports. More than 80 professors wrote an open letter calling the Ohio University Foundation’s purchase a “poor use” of money.

“At a time when student debt is spinning out of control, and the funding of higher education is in crisis … it makes no sense to undertake such lavish expenditure,” the letter states.

The current residence of the president…


Duke Investigates Reports of Racist Speech on Its Campus

Duke University is investigating a student’s recent report of racist speech on the campus, The News & Observer reports, citing a message to the campus on Thursday by the university’s president, Richard H. Brodhead.

A university spokesman, Michael Schoenfeld, told the newspaper that the student reported hearing another student in a group making racist comments on Sunday morning on Duke’s East Campus.

A group calling itself the Duke People of Color Caucus provided what it said were further details…


Faculty Critic of NYU’s Role in Abu Dhabi Is Target of Secret Investigation

Andrew Ross, a faculty member at New York University who has been a sharp critic of the abuse of migrant workers in the construction of its campus in the United Arab Emirates, is the target of a mysterious investigation, The New York Times reports. An investigator has been seeking out “people to comment negatively” about him, the Times says, but has refused to disclose who hired her.

The investigation has also taken aim at a reporter, Ariel Kaminer, who co-wrote an article for the Times about th…


Was Whistle-Blower in Oregon Therapy-Records Case Fired? She Says Yes, University Says No

The University of Oregon says it did not fire an employee of the campus counseling center who criticized the institution for obtaining a student’s therapy records as part of its legal defense against her charge that she was raped by three basketball players.

The Register-Guard, a newspaper in Eugene, Ore., reported that Karen Stokes, executive assistant to the director of the counseling center, sent an email on Thursday to co-workers saying that her “employment is being terminated at the end …


NCAA Voices Concern About Indiana’s New ‘Religious Freedom’ Law

Mark Emmert, president of the NCAA, says the Indiana-based association is “concerned” about a new Indiana law that could allow businesses to discriminate against gay people. In a statement on Thursday, Mr. Emmert said the association would work to make sure no attendees at next week’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament Final Four, held in Indianapolis, are “impacted negatively” by the law.

The state’s Republican governor, Mike Pence, signed the controversial bill into law on Thursday. The legislat…


Many Factors Contribute to Low Share of Women in Engineering and Computing

Report: “Solving the Equation: The Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing”

Organization: American Association of University Women

Authors: Christianne Corbett, senior researcher, and Catherine Hill, vice president for research, both of the association

Summary: Gender bias, workplace exclusion, and a lack of support structures are some of the factors contributing to the lack of women working in engineering and computing, according to a new report by the American Association of…


Bookstore Group Sues Purdue for More Information on Amazon Deal

A national group representing campus bookstores has sued Purdue University to find out more about its partnership with Amazon, the Lafayette Journal & Courier reports. In its lawsuit, the National Association of College Stores Inc. asserts that the university gave it a copy of its contract with Amazon, but that a significant amount of material had been redacted, constituting a violation of Indiana’s public-records law. The university has said the redacted material contained trade secrets, which are shielded by the law.

Through the agreement, Amazon opened a brick-and-mortar location on Purdue’s campus where students can pick up books and buy merchandise. The university’s legal counsel, Steve Schultz, told the newspaper that Purdue does not comment on pending litigation. “That being said,” he continued, “our contract with Amazon explicitly states that the contract contains information Amazon considers to be trade secret.”

An association of campus retail stores is suing Purdue University in hopes of obtaining a complete copy of the business agreement Amazon signed with the university last year. An Ohio-based association of campus retail stores wants more detail about a business deal struck last year between Purdue University and online retail powerhouse Amazon, which opened its first brick-and-mortar store earlier this semester on the West Lafayette campus.

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Stanford Reports ‘Troubling’ Increase in Cheating

Stanford University is investigating a “troubling” increase in cheating by students, Bloomberg News reports. The college’s provost, John W. Etchemendy, wrote in a letter to the faculty that the Office of Community Standards had recently received an uncommonly high number of reports of academic dishonesty. “With the ease of technology and widespread sharing that is now part of a collaborative culture,” he wrote, “students need to recognize and be reminded that it is dishonest to appropriate the work of others.” Mr. Etchemendy asked faculty members to more clearly define collaboration to their students.

(Bloomberg) — Stanford University is probing a “troubling” increase in academic dishonesty among students, made easier by their use of technology, Provost John Etchemendy said in a letter to faculty. As many as 20 percent of students in a large introductory course may have cheated, Etchemendy said, adding that the school’s Office of Community Standards received an “unusually high number” of such reports at the end of the winter term.

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